In 1946, Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac was convicted of treason by the Communist regime in Yugoslavia and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, his legacy as a symbolic figure of power in various aspects of life today has continued to endure, particularly in the political, ideological, religious, diplomatic, and judicial realms. Despite the reluctance of the Vatican and Pope Francis to finalize his canonization, there remains much interest in understanding Stepinac’s work and contributions.
The book “Cardinal Stepinac in the Gestapo and OZN documents” by Gordan Akrap offers a unique perspective on this subject matter. The author uses authentic documents to reconstruct Stepinac’s activities during his time under Nazi and Communist secret services surveillance. Additionally, the book includes previously unseen photos from Stepinac’s funeral in Kaptol that highlight UDBA’s close surveillance of the event.
UDBA closely monitored every aspect of Stepinac’s funeral procession, including inside and outside the cathedral. They even recorded statements from attendees at the ceremony. Despite attempts by UDBA to bury Stepinac against the wishes of the Catholic Church in Kraši, Archbishop Šeper was able to resolve this issue through skillful maneuvering. Following his burial in Zagreb Cathedral, over 20,000 believers paraded through the church without incident or provocation. UDBA also warned against any efforts towards Beatification and attempted to prohibit any special decoration of Stepinac’s space in the cathedral.
Overall, “Cardinal Stepinac in the Gestapo and OZN documents” provides insight into an important period in history while also offering a thought-provoking perspective on how one man’s actions can reverberate throughout society for generations to come.